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Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

Free digital textbooks available to Ga. students

(WXIA) -- The Georgia Department of Education has made free interactive digital textbooks available on its website.

Students, parents and educators are welcome to use the books, which feature games, discussion questions, quizzes and other study elements.

They are available for middle and high school courses in such subjects as language arts, math, science, social studies, electives and several world languages -- Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin and Spanish.

State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said students who have used the digital textbook have had much classroom success with them.

Visit gavirtuallearning.org to access the textbook materials.

Delta Community Credit Union sponsors financial literacy program

Delta Community Credit Union sponsors financial literacy program

(WXIA) -- For the second year in a row, Delta Community Credit Union will sponsor the brass | Media Student Program, which brings financial literacy skills to classrooms across metro Atlanta.

Teachers can register for the program at studentprogram.com. Atlanta-based Delta Community's partnership with the Student Program has helped it reach more than 200,000 students in 159 schools.

One local educator -- Michael Young, a Career & Technical Education teacher at Collins Hill High School in Gwinnett County -- was the 3,000th teacher nationwide to sign up for the program. He said it has strengthened his students' understanding of money and possible career paths, and has helped them prepare for college.

Henry County school buses win environmental award

Henry County school buses win environmental award

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. -- School buses are back on the road in Henry County, but that doesn't mean there will be a spike in air pollution.

Henry County Schools recently received the Blue Sky Award from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. It is the highest award offered by the Georgia Diesel Emissions Reduction Program, and is only given to school systems that reduce bus emissions by at least 75 percent.

The county's school buses were gradually updated over the past few years, thanks to ESPLOST funding and a state program.

Henry County Schools spokesperson John Hardin said once the system acquires a new, more environmentally friendly bus, an old one is moved to stand-by or back-up status. Old back-up buses are sold at auction.

School system representatives accepted the Blue Sky Award during the Georgia Association for Pupil Transportation conference and trade show in Jekyll Island in June.

Back to school: Free and reduced-price lunch guidelines

Back to school: Free and reduced-price lunch guidelines

(WXIA) -- Thousands of Georgia students return to the classroom this week, and many of them meet the requirements for free and reduced-price meals during the school day.

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"It is important to provide our students with healthy, nutritious meals to help improve their chances of success and increase their learning opportunities," Georgia Department of Education School Nutrition Director Nancy Rice said in a statement. "Research indicates that eating habits affect learning. We want to ensure all our children are well nourished and ready to learn."

Families that qualify for free and reduced-price lunch will get applications from their children's schools.

Students can receive the meals if:

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

Back to school surprise: Weekend roadwork canceled

(WXIA) -- This weekend will be a holiday for Georgia families in more ways than one.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has suspended construction-related lane closures on all major interstates and highways within five miles of malls and shopping districts.

This will allow parents and students to enjoy the tax-free shopping weekend without the added stress of road delays.

"The sales tax holiday is an opportunity for Georgians to save a little money during these challenging economic times," GDOT Commissioner Keith Golden said. "The department is glad to offer some relief from lane closures as families prepare for school."

11Alive Ways to Save reporter Valerie Hoff has some of the best tax-free weekend deals. Find out how to get the most bang for your buck.

Eagle's Landing HS educator named Ga. History Teacher of the Year

Eagle's Landing HS educator named Ga. History Teacher of the Year

MCDONOUGH, Ga. -- Nina Kendall has been named Georgia's History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Kendall teaches U.S. history at Eagle's Landing High School in Henry County. As a state-level Teacher of the Year, she received a $1,000 prize and several books for the school's media center. If she is chosen as the National History Teacher of the Year, she will win $10,000.

"I am thrilled to be recognized for my work in the classroom," Kendall said. "It renews my spirit to be honored by those who share my love for history and history education."

Kendall is also the 2011 recipient of the Gwen Hutcheson Outstanding Social Studies Educator honor from the Georgia Council for the Social Studies.

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

Thousands enroll in Ga. Pre-K Program

(WXIA) -- More than 80,000 Georgia children are enrolled in the state's Pre-K Program for the 2014-15 school year.

Pre-K is open to all 4 year olds, regardless of household income. Assistant commissioner Susan Adams said that it is the first school experience for many children.

"For this reason, we take our roles very seriously, and we work really hard to provide Georgia's children with positive and meaningful experiences," Adams said in a release.

In Pre-K, students study language, literacy and math while making new friends and building foundations for lifelong learning. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning recommends parents visit their children's classrooms in advance to familiarize them with their new surroundings, and dress them in comfortable clothes and shoes every day. If students have a tendency to feel lonely, parents can send them to school with family photos to cheer them up, and blankets or stuffed animals to snuggle at naptime.